on August 12, 2011
The Canary List is an intriguing, spell-binding novel. Even though every chapter was short (point of view changed frequently, keeping suspense high), it was hard to read for just a few minutes. I found myself devouring it chunks at a time, wanting to know what happened. Part of that was because the "conspiracy" is set within the Vatican and the Catholic Church. Was this just another Dan Brown novel, full of inaccuracies painted as facts?
Pedophilia and child abuse is a huge issue within the Catholic Church. Brouwer raises the issue without flinching, looking at the ways that many priests are never charged with abuse while teachers like Crockett can have their careers ruined over false accusations. Yet Brouwer also points out, through psychiatrist Madelyne Mackenzie, that the Catholic Church is "an institution that does so much good all across the world. It's like a beautiful mansion, with one horrible, dark closet. But the closet draws all the attention, and the fact that the mansion is beautiful too often gets lost because of that."
For anyone with further questions about the issues Brouwer raises in the novel, he provides a list of sources at the end (I don't remember Dan Brown proving he did any research for his thriller). Christian readers will likely be familiar with the idea of demons from books by Frank Peretti, and here Brouwer looks at different views about demons through the history of the Church. I liked the weave of information he spun through the story and found myself amazed at his research. I really enjoyed reading this book and recommend it to any other readers who like suspense or Sigmund Brouwer or good books.